Sep 152003
 
Authors: Editorial Board Shandra Jordan Colleen Buhrer J.J. Babb Josh Pilkington Willow Welter

Nobody doubts that CSU and all Colorado state schools are facing

financial hardships, many of which are either partially or directly

a result of TABOR, the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, which sets limits

on the amount of money a state agency can spend and collect,

including universities.

One solution, which has now been proposed twice, is to pass

legislation turning universities into enterprise operations, which

would allow them to raise tuition as if they were any other

business in state.

The University of Colorado-Boulder tried to get legislation

passed last March to designate themselves as an enterprise, but was

shot down when Gov. Bill Owens expressed his disapproval saying it

gave the school too much wide-open range over raising tuition and

that it should apply to more schools.

The newest piece of legislation would designate all public

higher education as an enterprise while still maintaining some

state control over how much tuition can go up.

The editorial board believes this newest edition of the bill is

a great improvement over last spring, and not only because this way

it will help CSU as well as our favorite neighbors. Gov. Owens’

concern over giving universities the ability to raise tuition

without any legislative oversight could quickly allow public

education to become less accessible to lower-income students.

Sure, we would hope our universities would be responsible enough

to keep tuition rates under control, but if they had free reign the

chance that every budget woe would result in a tuition spike seems

inevitable.

We have public universities for a reason, and the legislature

should be able to maintain some control over tuition rates. But the

fact is universities are facing a decline in quality due to state

cuts in funding, and perhaps enterprise status with qualifications

like those proposed in this bill could be the answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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